The Truth About Apprenticeship Myths

Oct. 4, 2021, 3:25 p.m.
Apprenticeships have come a long way, and in recent years more people have decided to pursue the Apprenticeship route to kick start their careers. However, there are still some negative stigmas around apprenticeships, which need busting!

Below our team have picked 5 myths that we often hear about apprenticeships...

1. Apprenticeships are only for hands-on / manual jobs

Before the surge in apprenticeships, it was often common for labour intensive industries like building, plumbing and electricals to utilise apprenticeships as a way to train new staff members and teach them in a working environment whilst they learn their trade.

Over recent years, more and more industries have developed apprenticeship programmes as a recognisable route into work. At present, there are over 1,500 occupations within 170 different industries, where you can choose an apprenticeship as a route for higher education. This means regardless of your career choice, an apprenticeship may be available for you to undergo the learning process whilst working in a practical role.

2. An apprenticeship is a backup option if you aren’t smart enough to go to university

There is often a comparison between the traditional higher education and university route compared to completing an Apprenticeship. It’s important to recognise that whilst completing an apprenticeship, you will also be learning and working towards a practical qualification that is recognised in the same capacity as the level you would study within an educational environment.

Apprenticeships have recently become more present at higher levels of education for example, Levels 4, 5 and 6 - the same as those achieved at University. These apprenticeships often require a high level of competence in your chosen industry and would not be seen as a backup option, just an alternative to suit your preference.

If you’re deciding between an Apprenticeship or University, have a think about the way you learn and whether it would suit you being in a practical working environment or based in a classroom.
You should also weigh up the benefits of each choice and consider that Apprenticeships offer the opportunity to stay debt free, and earn whilst you learn.

3. Apprentices are paid low wages

Wages for an apprenticeship are often seen as a negative factor, in comparison to an average wage of a normal worker. Apprenticeship employers are required to pay their apprentices the National Apprenticeship Minimum Wage, which increases every April. This wage will depend on your age, level of competence / experience and also your financial situation. Employers may also pay more than the National Apprenticeship Minimum Wage, and salaries for degree or higher level apprentices are extremely good.

You should also think about the cost of the qualification and training that is offered as part of your apprenticeship. If you were to complete this qualification commercially and fund it yourself like University fees, you’d be surprised at how costly it could be!

4. Only young people can do apprenticeships

Absolutely not! A lot of people assume that apprenticeships are for lower level candidates, or those who have just left School or College. However, apprenticeships are offered to any candidate over 16, and older candidates should consider apprenticeships to be a great opportunity for a career change or a new development journey.

Apprenticeships can also be undertaken within companies, where staff are already employed but are looking to up-skill and grow within their existing role - this can be done at any age!

5. As an apprentice, you do the easy jobs and make tea

Within your apprenticeship role you’ll be treated like a valued member of the team, who has real responsibility and is required to complete your job to a high standard. Whilst completing an apprenticeship, you’ll be expected to carry out tasks that prove that you can complete the ‘Standard’ set by the employer, training provider and awarding body. The ‘Standards’ have been set with an outline of knowledge and competence to show that you can effectively fulfil the role you have been assigned to complete within your company.